…Says ‘They’re Loony And Fringe Elements’
- As Militants’ Group Condemns PANDEF Meeting With Osinbajo
- To Begin Bombing Of Oil Installations In September
By ‘Dotun Akintomide
The fresh threat issued on Thursday to Yorubas and Northerners living in the Niger Delta region by a coalition group named Niger Delta Agitators (NDA), ordering them to leave the region before October 1, 2017 or face harsh consequences has drawn the ire of the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural Organization, Afenifere, referring to the members of the group as loony elements seeking media attention.
Reacting to the threat, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin exclusively told The New Diplomat that the so-called NDA has been disowned by the mainstream leaders in the South-South.
Odumakin also stated that the group is comprised of “loony and fringe elements” sponsored to downplay the ongoing cooperation among leaders of thought in the Southwest, South-South and Southeast to chat a common course for the entire South in the wake of the deafening call for the nation’s restructuring.
“The south west, South east and South south are collaborating heavily at this point and all the credible leaders from the Niger Delta said these elements are not known to them, they are probably some fringe and loony elements from the Niger Delta, but we wait for their leaders to reign them in, before we begin to react.
“As they are being used to frustrate the cooperation that is going on in the southern areas. So we want to exercise some caution, because these elements we never heard of them before. Though they may exist, but they are loony and fringe. They’re not part of the mainstream people in the Niger Delta. All the mainstream people we know have disowned them,” Odumakin told The New Diplomat.
On Thursday, in a statement entitled ‘Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators to resume attacks on September 10, 2017; Northerners, the Yoruba to leave Niger Delta before October 1, 2017,’ the agitators’ group stated that it took the decision at a meeting held in Akwa Ibom State.
The statement was signed by the conveners of the NDA, John Duku; Ekpo Ekpo of Niger Delta Volunteers; Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters); and Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice).
Condemns PANDEF Meeting With Osinbajo
The group stated that Acting president Yemi Osinbajo has met a group of leaders who lacked the capacity to resolve the problems in the region, saying that the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) failed to draw representatives from agitating groups and youths in the region.
“We totally condemn the recent meeting between PANDEF and the Acting President; we see it as another plot to deceive the Niger Delta people. First and foremost, the meeting was marred by inordinate greed of the PANDEF as they did not involve the representatives of the agitating groups and youth leaders.
“We wish to let the Acting President know that those he met have no capacity and cannot solve the current crisis in the Niger Delta; therefore they cannot represent the militants or speak for the Niger Delta people.”
The coalition insisted on its demand for 100 per cent control of the resources in the region.
“The Federal Government should hand over all oil blocks owned by the northerners/Yoruba to Niger Delta indigenes. All oil companies operating in such oil blocks/wells should vacate by October 1st, 2017.”
NDA further called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to relocate its headquarters to any of the Niger Delta states and replace its Group Managing Director with an indigene of the region.
“All the multinational oil, gas, servicing and marine companies must relocate their operational base to the Niger Delta, sign a new memorandum of understanding with Niger Delta people which will include Niger Delta indigenes being paid same salaries with foreigners.
“We demand independence and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta, all the companies and businesses owned by the northerners/Yoruba in Niger Delta should be vacated before October 1, 2017.”
“We call on all agitating groups to resume attacks/bombings on all oil/gas pipelines, especially the exporting lines across the Niger Delta region from September 10, 2017. This is to ensure zero oil/gas production before October 1, 2017.
“We shall work to interface with more patriotic and zealous Niger Delta people to work out new collective approach that will ensure total freedom and complete control of our resources by any means necessary.”